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The association between South African listed companies' BEE scores and market performance: An introductory study

Petri Ferreira (Department of Accounting, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
Charl de Villiers (Department of Accounting and Finance, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand and Department of Accounting, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 1022-2529

Article publication date: 1 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether an association exists between a firm's black economic empowerment (BEE) score and its share returns.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses linear regression that controls for the factors explaining share returns identified by Fama and French. The study includes the Top 200 BEE companies according to the Financial Mail/Empowerdex Top Empowerment Companies survey for 2005‐2008.

Findings

The regression analysis shows a significant, negative association between a firm's BEE score and its share returns.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that managers may be over‐investing in activities to improve their firms' BEE scores. This result is surprising. The long‐term effect of BEE investment, the association between the different elements of the BEE score and share returns and the optimal BEE investment level are all fruitful avenues for future research.

Originality/value

One of the elements of the BEE score is the percentage of black ownership of the company. Various studies have found positive market reactions to BEE deal announcements, which relate to the percentage of black ownership of the company. By contrast, this study investigates the relationship between an entity's BEE score, as opposed to a BEE deal announcement, and this entity's market performance. The results would be of interest to government policy analysts, investors and managers.

Keywords

Citation

Ferreira, P. and de Villiers, C. (2011), "The association between South African listed companies' BEE scores and market performance: An introductory study", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 19 No. 1/2, pp. 22-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/10222521111178619

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited